Church Security Volunteer

I’ve been attempting to reach out to USCCA (currently waiting for an email response) regarding details of coverage extended to church security volunteers. I was wondering if any of you have inquired about this issue and what your understanding is on the topic. If any of us were involved in an identical situation like the one that recently occurred in the church in Texas, would we be covered by USCCA?

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@DAWN, will answer that for you kind sir.

Great question, @DanRyanPI! (Thanks for the tag, @Randall318!)

There are a number of things that will play into that answer, @DanRyanPI. If you are required to carry a gun for the church security and are getting paid to be part of church security, your USCCA Membership would not be able to assist you (as it would be considered part of your “job”).

As an individual (no part of the security team) and you defend yourself and other innocent people there’s a good chance your USCCA membership would be able to assist you. I can’t say 100% for sure as there are multiple other factors that would play into that - I’ve heard some things that I couldn’t even have fathomed before hearing them that factored in (one example: charges not related to self-defense would not be covered).

Does that help, DanRyanPI? I’m betting you might have more questions. Please let me know. Be sure to tag me (@dawn) so I see the comment as quickly as possible.

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Thank you, Dawn. do you know where I might get more detailed information? Are there any articles in the magazine about this issue?

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No problem & thank you for educated answer!

I’m glad to have linked in because that’s some critical info (For church security).

It brings one question into mind…
Do you guys offer any package to law enforcement or certified armed security @dawn?

I don’t mean to get off subject @DanRyanPI, forgive me.

Are you looking for details on group membership for your security team or a more definitive answer about if it would be covered, @DanRyanPI?

Nope, there’s special programs for police officers and those who are required to carry a firearm for their job - it’s not something the USCCA Membership is able to help with.

Great question though, @Randall318.

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@Dawn, what if your safety team members are volunteers for the church and not being paid and are not required to carry when they volunteer? Does that change the scenario you mentioned above or does USCCA consider that they are still on the job?

Volunteers who are not paid or required to carry would not be considered to be “on the job” and would be able to utilize their USCCA membership benefits if they apply, @Shepherd.

Sorry, I didn’t make that very clear earlier. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify!

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Thanks for the clarification, I appreciate it!

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@Dawn Mostly I just want to know if my membership in USCCA would cover me if I were to be involved in an incident at church like the incident that recently occurred in Texas. We are all strictly volunteers, not paid. We are not required to carry guns but most of us opt to do so, this day and age.

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As part of a volunteer group that is not compensated nor requires you to carry a gun, your membership would apply as if you were an individual.

As I do not know all of the details of the shooting in TX, I cannot say 100% either way.

IMO, it appears to be self-defense so membership benefits would apply. That’s my opinion without knowing all of the details (it’s not the official opinion of anyone but me.)

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In my church I am a security volunteer and the pastor wants us armed, he doesn’t even care if people conceal carry in the church. I’m guessing that if an incident goes down in our church I may be covered.

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This seems like a real grey area. Very few people at my church are “paid” to do their “job.” We’re all volunteers, except for the full time staff whom we pay so they can focus on their jobs without working extra jobs to pay their bills. So as a “volunteer,” I’m not doing a job and I’m not covered by any insurance; but since I’m fulfilling a role, I’m not acting as an individual so USCCA might not cover me, either.

Just something I have to keep in mind. In a worst case scenario where I have to draw or discharge a firearm, I might be on my own.

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I do security at my church and I am armed. I am also considered an armed civilian. If I take action that is justifiable by using my firearm the USCCA will back me I am pretty sure of that. So you are an armed citizen who decided to take action and use your firearm because deadly force was necessary. As long as you follow protocol you should be fine. Follow the instructions on the back of your membership card to the letter.

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I’ve been carrying in my church for the last 5yrs. It wasn’t until I was at a Men’s Bible Study meeting I had joined that a few weeks into it and spring was coming that one of the other guys noticed slight bulge in my t-shirt cause it was warm that day and I took my outer shirt off. He asked me about it as the meeting was about to start and so I didn’t want to lie so I pulled my holster and 9mm and laid it on the table and explained that had been carrying for 7rs, and was a Viet Nam combat Vet, showed my permit to carry, and had taken a course with my wife, and belonged to USCCA, and had been carrying it to church for about 5yrs already. To my surprise a retired policeman across the table took his out, and three more all laid theirs on the table ,and two more had left theirs in the car. They were glad I told them because to their knowledge I was the 29th member they knew of. I told them about the USCCA and know a lot of them have signed up. Our Minister knows about us but none of us are paid or employed by the church. We just let each kinda let each other know to take turns carrying once every so many weeks so we don’t have a “OK Coral” if something should happen during or between the services. That includes people in the foyer to watch the entrances.
It’s all for our families and our own protection. We even do Saturdays target practice an picnics on one of the guys farm now an then. Even learning how reload my own shells to save money. an it keeps the brass policed up…

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Thanks for what you do and God got you.

@Dawn This is exactly the question I was asked at church last week by one of our Security volunteers. As are most, our church Security team is made up of unpaid volunteers in the church and are not required to carry. We have a schedule that we put out quarterly to the team so each can know ahead of time when they serve as well as some guidelines such as when to lock certain doors and when and where to patrol, etc. Our church leaders do not restrict carry in the church but they also do not require the security team members to carry. Although I know some of our security team members do carry as private citizens, our church Security team policy, for carrying, is pretty much, don’t ask, don’t tell, and don’t require. The current insurance church building liability policy does not cover anyone who carries unless they have been through a long list of extensive certifications or are active law enforcement officials. Last week one of our Security volunteers, who I know carries, told me that he checked with his private carry insurance company, and they told him he would need to seek coverage through the church’s policy and that they would not cover him if he was part of the church Security team when a self-defense situation occurred. This was disturbing, since this puts all of us in a bad spot. However, your Jan 9 reply has provided some hope here when you said, “Volunteers who are not paid or required to carry would not be considered to be “on the job” and would be able to utilize their USCCA membership benefits if they apply”
This is an important aspect of coverage. I’m sure that if this is made clear USCCA will find many people moving to USCCA coverage over other providers. Can you tell me, does USCCA have anything in writing outlining this? If so would you please provide a link for reference?

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Welcome to the family and you are blessed to be here.

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Hey Earl!

My name is Eva, and I am our Group Specialist here at the USCCA. I currently work with all of our church security and safety teams and personally admire all who protect our places of worship.

USCCA currently provides protection for 300+ church security teams nationwide as well as offers an exclusive discount to those individuals whom volunteer on their team.

Church security or safety team members who are volunteering at the church (unpaid) would qualify for USCCA membership benefits - within the parameters of the protection plan, of course. We do not have specifics outlining church security teams within our membership agreement form because this would create added exclusions to our protection plan (which no one wants more exclusions). If you are paid security (which in your case, you are not) then your security team would not qualify for USCCA membership benefits.

See exclusion:

  1. Occupational Use
    “Bodily injury” or “property damage” arising out of any member’s conduct in providing law enforcement, security, safety, recovery or repossession services for compensation or a fee.

If you’d like to learn more on how to obtain an exclusive discount for your church security team members, feel free to give me a call directly: 262-384-4328.

Blessings,

Eva

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